Perles néolithiques sahariennes et organiques

My passion for African beads

I would like to share with you the emotion I feel for the ancient beads found in West Africa. I have been collecting them for more than twenty years now. Since they are sought after by many collectors, they are increasingly rare and often damaged. When I mention the notion of bead, it refers to any small object that can be put on and therefore worn as a necklace, ornament… or integrated into a set of jewels.

A story of encounters and discoveries

It was on African markets and in Dakar in particular that I discovered the world of beads. Having lived with my husband in Senegal for five years in the course of our professional careers, I had the opportunity to establish friendly relationships with an experienced collector and art dealer, David, who introduced me to their diversity and history. Their aesthetics and the moments of humanity they conveyed immediately touched me. Inspired by these beads and encouraged by David, I started creating some necklaces and collecting a wide variety of beads. This devouring passion has since then known no interruption since back in Paris I have always continued to frequent the African markets, colorful and shimmering, and to hunt for beads during my travels including outside the African continent. The quest for beads is a theme in each of my travels and a pretext for encounters and discoveries. As the beads have travelled, sometimes very far from their place of manufacture, it is always a moment of intense emotion when I find beads identical to those found in Africa in other countries such as India or Thailand, or simply when visiting museums.

Each discovery is a magic moment that remains in my memory. During a trip in the Mauritanian desert, with my husband, we met nomads on the road. One of the women presented me with an ancient bead, a single bead, very beautiful, made of glass, square shaped, which was probably produced in the Middle East (Syria or Persia) between the 10th and 15th centuries. What a surprise in the middle of the desert to discover such a magnificent bead, wich was in perfect condition!

A unique variety and beauty

All the ancient African beads, in their infinite variety, are likely to touch me: the raw material, patina and sensuality of the shapes and materials of Neolithic beads; the colors, brilliance, fragility and resistance of glass beads (whether from Italy, Bohemia, Holland or Africa); the softness of touch, organic shapes and colors ranging from yellow to brown and amber; the energy released by the red coral beads, gullied, brought back by the Portuguese in the 15th century and used by craftsmen in the Kingdom of Benin to make sumptuous clothes and facings for their chiefs and dignitaries; the richness of motifs and texture of Islamic glass beads in the Middle East…

Sensitive to their aesthetics, history and symbolism, I attach the utmost importance to their authenticity and quality, which give them their full value. In my creations, I am committed to respecting the history of these beads and sublimating their beauty through a contemporary aesthetic.